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Climate change: Canada released national adaption strategy

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ST. PETER’S BAY, P.E.I. –

A national climate adaptation strategy released Thursday includes $1.6 billion in new spending to help communities faced with risks ranging from deadly heat waves and wildfires to floods and storms.

Bill Blair, the federal minister of emergency preparedness, announced the plan in Prince Edward Island, where post-tropical storm Fiona caused widespread damage to the power system, farms and the fishing industry when it swept through the region on Sept. 24.

During a tour of Red Head Harbour just before the news conference, Blair heard from a harbour master about how the resulting storm surge demolished the wharf, and fishers described their uncertainty about when they could return to work.

“What we’re seeing in the last few years is an increase in frequency and severity of climate-related events, and it demands action from us, not just actions from one order of government but from all of us, from every Canadian,” Blair told the news conference.

The federal funding mostly tops up existing programs and won’t cover the costs of major projects, such as the proposal to raise dikes that safeguard the land link between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

However, the plan adds $489 million to the federal disaster adaptation fund over 10 years, helping with smaller projects that address issues such as the risk to coastlines from rising seas and collapsing infrastructure due to permafrost thaw.

There is also $284 million over five years to strengthen wildfire management through measures such as the creation of larger fire breaks between forests and communities.

In addition, Ottawa will spend $164 million over five years on flood mapping and work with provinces and territories to expand a system that identifies areas at high risk of flooding. There is also $60 million over five years to update standards for new infrastructure and $95 million over five years to provide climate tool kits for citizens and local governments.

The plan includes $30 million over five years to expand Health Canada programs helping people protect themselves from extreme heat, and $13 million over five years to expand other health programs tied to the effects of climate change.

In climate change policy, mitigation refers to actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to global warming. Adaptation refers to actions adjusting to the reality of a warming planet.

Scientific assessments say that since 1948, annual average temperatures in Canada have increased by 1.7 C and 2.3 C in the North. Oceanographers have indicated that warmer waters added to the intensity of Fiona when it struck the Atlantic region, creating an estimated $660 million in insured damage.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have estimated that the three levels of government will need to spend about $5.3 billion annually to cope with climate adaptation.

However, experts say that figure could be lower if Canadians adapt to the climate we’re facing now, instead of continuing to live in a country built for the climate of the past. The adaptation plan released by Blair sets targets to start this shift, though achieving these milestones would depend on co-operation from the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities.

For example, the strategy says that within three years, the goal is to have 80 per cent of health authorities across the country put in place measures to protect citizens from extreme heat, and by 2040 have systems in place to eliminate those types of deaths. Blair noted that British Columbia saw about 619 deaths during the heat wave in the summer of 2021.

The plan also calls for a clear set of codes and standards for infrastructure projects — from highways to water drainage systems — to be in place by 2030. The adaptation plan also suggests that preserving natural systems can help Canada reduce the effects of global warming, and it sets a target of conserving one-quarter of the country’s lands and waters by 2025.

Louise Comeau, director of climate solutions at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, said she’s pleased the plan sets ambitious goals — including that six in 10 Canadians become “aware of the disaster risks facing their household” two years from now.

However, she said more details need to be provided on how these goals will be achieved, and she said provinces and territories should be required to agree to meet pre-set objectives before they receive the federal money.

“The $1.6 billion won’t go very far so they better be efficient with the money,” she said.

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Xander the Great! Schauffele wins the British Open for his 2nd major this year

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TROON, Scotland (AP) — Xander Schauffele went from the most nerve-wracking putt of his career to the coolest walk toward an 18th green he ever imagined.

He won a nail-biter at the PGA Championship in May. He delivered a masterpiece Sunday in the British Open. Two different finishes, two different feelings.

One more conclusion.

Schauffele has more than enough game and all the confidence in the world to win the biggest championships. Questioned at the start of the season whether he could win a major, he now has two of them.

Schauffele closed with a 6-under 65 with a final round that ranks among the most memorable in British Open history, particularly the 31 on the back nine. It matched the best score of the week at Royal Troon with nothing less than the claret jug riding on the outcome.

He played bogey-free in a daunting wind and turned a two-shot deficit into a two-shot victory for his second major of the year.

It also gave the Americans a sweep of the four majors for the first time since 1982.

“It’s a dream come true to win two majors in one year,” he said. “It took me forever just to win one, and to have two now is something else.”

He won the PGA Championship at Valhalla by making a 6-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 65. In a final round set up for high drama at Royal Troon — six players one shot behind, nine players separated by three shots — Schauffele made a tense Sunday look like a nice walk along the Irish Sea.

“I think winning the first one helped me a lot today on the back nine,” he said. “I had some feeling of calmness come through. It was very helpful on what has been one of the hardest back nines I’ve ever played in a tournament.”

It sure didn’t show. Standing on the 18th tee, Schauffele said he turned to caddie and longtime friend Austin Kaiser sand told he had felt calm down the decisive back nine.

“He said he was about to puke,” Schauffele said.

In the 90-year history of four majors, Schauffele became the first player to win two majors in one season with a final-round 65. Jack Nicklaus is the only other player to do that in his career.

And he never looked more calm, oozing that cool California vibe even as the wind presented so much trouble at Royal Troon.

Schauffele pulled away with three birdies in a four-hole stretch early on the back nine to go from two shots behind to leading by as many as three.

He won by two shots over American Billy Horschel and Justin Rose, the 43-year-old from England who had to go through 36-hole qualifying just to get into the field. They were among four players who had at least a share of the lead at one point Sunday.

They just couldn’t keep up with Schauffele. No one could.

“He has a lot of horsepower,” Rose said. “He’s good with a wedge, he’s great with a putter, he hits the ball a long way, obviously his iron play is strong. So he’s got a lot of weapons out there. I think probably one of his most unappreciated ones is his mentality. He’s such a calm guy out there.

“I don’t know what he’s feeling, but he certainly makes it look very easy.”

Even with so many players in contention early, the engraver was able to get to work early on those 16 letters across the base of the silver claret jug.

Schauffele kept staring at golf’s oldest trophy in his press conference, looking forward to gazing at it in private, wondering what kind of drink to pour from it. He said he’d leave that up to his father, Stefan, who missed his son’s first major title and was blubbering on the phone with him.

Where that final round ranks — Henrik Stenson shot 63 when he won his duel with Phil Mickelson at Royal Troon in 2016 — Schauffele left no doubt where it stood in his own career.

“At the very tip-top,” Schauffele said. “Best round I’ve played.”

Playing in the third-to-last group, he matched the round of the championship with a score that was just over eight shots better than the field average.

The final birdie was a pitch over a pot bunker to 4 feet on the par-5 16th. The grandstands at The Open are among the largest, lining both sides of the fairway as Schauffele walked through and soaked up the cheers.

“I got chills,” he said.

The 30-year-old from San Diego became the first player since Jordan Spieth in 2015 to win his first two majors in the same season. And he extended American dominance on this Scottish links as the seventh Open champion in the last eight visits to Royal Troon.

Rose started one shot behind and closed with a 67. That was only good for second place. He had a chance to set a record by going the longest time between majors after his 2013 U.S. Open win.

“Gutted when I walked off the course and it hit me hard because I was so strong out there today,” Rose said. “Xander got it going. I hit a couple of really good putts that didn’t fall, and then suddenly that lead stretched. I left it all out there. I’m super proud of how I competed.”

Horschel, who started the final round with a one-shot lead in his bid to win his first major, dropped back around the turn and birdied his last three holes for a 68.

“I’m disappointed. I should feel disappointed. I had a chance to win a major,” Horschel said. “I just made a few too many mistakes today when I didn’t need to.”

Mackenzie Hughes of Dundas, Ont., shot a 68 on Sunday to finish as the top Canadian at 2-over, tied for 16th. Corey Conners of Listowel, Ont., also shot a 68 and ended up tied for 25th at 5-over for the tournament.

The player Schauffele had to track down was Thriston Lawrence of South Africa, who birdied three of four holes to end the front nine with a 32.

Schauffele was two shots behind when it all changed so suddenly. Schauffele hit a wedge out of the left rough on the difficult 11th and judged it perfectly to 3 feet for birdie. He hit another wedge to 15 feet for birdie on the 13th, and capped his pivotal run with a 12-foot birdie putt on the par-3 14th.

Lawrence finally dropped a shot on the 12th and didn’t pick up any shots the rest of the day. He closed with a 68 and earned a small consolation — a trip to the Masters next April, his first time to Augusta National.

Scottie Scheffler, who got within one shot of the lead briefly on the front nine, lost his way with a three-putt from 6 feet for a double bogey on the ninth hole. Scheffler finished his round by topping a tee shot on the 18th and making another double bogey. The world’s No. 1 player closed with a 72 and tied for seventh.

He stuck around to share a hug with Schauffele, the two top players in golf. Schauffele was the only player this year to finish in the top 10 in all four majors.

He finished at 9-under 275 and earned $3.1 million, pushing him over $15 million for the season.

Schauffele went from the heaviest major trophy at the PGA Championship to the smallest and oldest, the famed claret jug.

“I just can’t wait to drink out of it,” he said, smiling as wide as ever.

___

AP golf:



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Three die after head-on collision between pickup truck and Honda Civic in Cape Breton

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MABOU, N.S. – Three people have died after a head-on collision in western Cape Breton involving a pickup truck and a Honda Civic.

RCMP say the collision occurred early Saturday morning on Highway 19 near the community of Mabou.

The two youths in the Honda Civic, both residents of Inverness County, died in the crash.

A passenger in the truck, a 71-year-old man from Utah, was transported by paramedics but died in hospital as a result of his injuries.

The other three occupants in the F-150, also from Utah, suffered serious injuries and were transported to hospital for treatment.

A release from the RCMP says they are investigating the cause of the accident.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2024.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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A 7-month-old tree kangaroo peeked out of its mom’s pouch at the Bronx Zoo and here are the photos

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NEW YORK (AP) — The second baby of a tree-dwelling kangaroo made its public debut this week in New York, poking its pink head head out of its mom’s furry white pouch.

The tiny Matschie’s tree kangaroo, or Dendrolagus matschiei, was born in December and is the second born to the same mother since 2022. It also was the third of its kind born at the Bronx Zoo since 2008.

The tree kangaroo species only gestate for about six weeks before they are born and immediately crawl into their marsupial moms’ pouches, the zoo said in a statement. It takes around seven months for the young to start peeking out of the pouch.

There are only around 2,500 tree kangaroos in the wild and 42 in captivity, the zoo said. In a statement Friday, a Bronx Zoo spokesperson said that the kangaroo’s birth was significant for the network of zoos that aims to preserve genetic diversity among endangered animals.

“It’s a small population and because of that births are not very common,” said Jessica Moody, curator of primates and small mammals at the Bronx Zoo. “So it’s a rare and exciting event,” adding that baby tree kangaroos are “possibly one of the cutest animals to have ever lived. They look like stuffed animals, it’s amazing.”

The tree kangaroos are native to the Huon Peninsula in Papua New Guinea, where they are threatened by human activities such as habitat destruction and hunting, the statement said. They live primarily in trees and are smaller than Australia’s better-known red kangaroo. An adult tree kangaroo weighs between 20 and 25 pounds (9–11 kilograms). The joeys are about the size of a human thumb when they are born, but grow to as long as 30 inches (76 centimeters).

Wildlife restoration programs often lean on zoos for genetic diversity. For example, wolves reintroduced to the wild are often given zoo-born pups to raise, reducing the risk of inbreeding while expanding wild populations.

The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.



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